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Rachel Konig

Davida Charney
December 9, 2015
Writing: The Fusion of Creativity and Formality
In 2009, New Dorp High School in Staten Island attributed their students’ failure in
school to their inability to write. To address this, they developed a new standard curriculum that
stressed the importance of formal writing instruction in public schools. Beginning in elementary
school, students no longer learned writing by “constructing personal narratives, memoirs, and
small works of fiction,” instead, these students were required to write informative and
persuasive essays (Writing Revolution, Tyre). Writing was no longer an outlet for imagination, it
became a tired formula of thesis  body conclusion.

Dear public school educators adopting New Dorp’s Writing Revolution,
I want the creativity of writing to be recognized as just as important as formal writing
instruction because communication outside of school requires the ability to express oneself
effectively, not strictly analyze another. You see, I come from a place where teachers left a
handwritten note in your locker if they thought you needed help in class. Hell, they’d leave a
note if they noticed you looked sad one day, as they were desperate to get you to talk or express
any type of emotion. Not to say they weren’t strict about rules, formalities, and the importance of
education, they definitely were, but they specialized in establishing creative voice and sense of
self through that education, and did so persistently.
I come from a lifetime of private school and with it came an intense appreciation for the
way my teachers not-so-slyly incorporated creativity and expression in to every subject. I was

Needless to say. but looking back at my high school graduation of a whopping 133 students (note my sarcasm). I believe that by the time students enter high school. Furthermore. In Creativity Is Not the Enemy of Good Writing. in particular) that threw us. it’s possible that in a professional setting. in a small upper class college preparatory school. but.blind to it for years. Like robots.’ With that said. Although the 20% rise in graduation rate and jump in test scores prove that the new standards at New Dorp teach students how to successfully answer a prompt by formulating an argument and providing support. however. although seemingly successful. thereby encouraging creativity and not banishing it. Bob Fecho and Stephanie Jones make a fantastic point that New Dorp’s writing initiative. we could take tests and write papers like programmed robots completing a task. I realize it was not the equation or the formula of education (writing. we worked with formulas to generate correct answers. My awareness of the value of emotion and connection that accompany creativity is what made me so surprised to hear of the “phasing out” of creativity that New Dorp’s Writing Revolution exemplified. is a “narrow . but also appeal to emotion and establish a voice in their writing. it fails to show that these skills alone prepare students for the professional world. it was the emotion and the connection. students will not only develop critical thinking skills and successfully formulate arguments. the inability to make an argument or claim original will be what causes an employer to choose ‘the other guy. what challenged us was the ability to draw on creativity to make our answers original. I admit. I believe that the way I learned writing throughout private school is what public schools should adopt. This is not to say I disagree with the significance of formal writing. they should be familiar enough with formal writing that teachers can instruct writing as less of a formula and more of creative interpretation: by diffusing creative writing in to formal writing.

vision:” New Dorp’s instruction gives students the skills to identify/write about a problem and a solution (conclusion) but abandons the challenge of inquiring about the “complexities inherent to teaching and learning. Teachers must rise to the challenge of teaching creative writing in order for students to rise to the challenge of learning it. how are these skills for a 5+-paragraph essay going to help you convince a conference room of people. and underline fact/highlight tone as a way to understand the differences and notice what tone or creativity adds to the facts. and provide evidence. What ever happened to “when the going gets tough the tough gets going”? Even the slightest incorporation of creative writing is useful. imagine this. New Dorp’s teachers are enforcing formal instruction because it’s easier to teach than creative writing. It’s important that students are challenged with creativity so they can successfully address problems in a real-world setting outside the four walls of a classroom. chapter. With New Dorp’s creativity-free writing instruction. and your boss. Now. I doubt any creative writer (or any writer) would question the importance of formal writing skills. I would suggest instructing students to read a passage. to agree with your newest office proposal? Any one can stand up in front of an audience or write an essay stating the facts of a problem and a solution. I’d like to draw your attention to a quote: .” In layman’s terms. it would just be a plain defense without any drive to actually have people agree with you. For example. students lose the ability to develop a persuasive voice in any form of writing including language arts. and social studies. formulate an argument. etc. I sure can’t deny how vital it is to learn how to analyze a text. but what really drives an audience to agree with you is the ability to draw your own conclusions and include personal tone to appeal to the emotions of others. But. The ability to creatively write is what gives a persuasive voice to an argument: without that ability. science.

and so should you. Coleman says the new writing standards are to de-emphasize the importance of writing with expression and emotion. As proven by Sharlene A. although he may stand by his claim that people don't give a shit. students are being set up for failure come high school because high school prompts warrant more persuasive techniques and require the ability to not just know the basics but know how to morph them to support the piece. they should. Forget college essays. students may be learning to write but not necessarily write well. and I backed up my thesis with research as a persuasion . you realize people really don't give a shit about what you feel or what you think…” A man named David Coleman said this as he backed New Dorp’s implementation of formal writing instruction and abandonment of all that is creative and expressive. but what is learning and drilling the analytics if you can’t put some of yourself in to the writing? Great writing is the ability to balance analysis with original ideas and expression. how well students write is influenced by how they are taught to write so. I wrote a thesis. students only having endured formal writing instruction their entire lives won’t have a clue how to make their essays stand out from thousands of other applicants. how are high school students expected to succeed on the ACT/SAT? Information on those tests aren’t meant to challenge student’s ability to recall a formula. If New Dorp’s writing instruction prevails. I did research and developed an opinion. Kiuhara in Teaching Writing to High School Students: National Survey. Without creative writing skills. it is meant to evaluate how students apply that knowledge to new information. well.“As you grow up in this world. Coleman. I ask you to reflect on this editorial: I identified an argument. and use it accordingly. Mr. Who is David Coleman? He’s the original architect of the Common Core Curriculum applied by public schools around the country. without implementing creative practices.

and conclusion technique for something that I believe would be more effective in expressing my thoughts. 2012.p. Atlantic Media Company. But. body. 10 Nov. Works Cited Tyre." | Common Core State Standards Initiative. my ability to do those things isn’t what convinced you to agree with me. 10 Nov. 10 Nov. n. "The Writing Revolution. 2015. Bob. Lee. so. this is me using the combination of formal writing with creative writing to force people to give a shit about what I feel and what I think. "The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company." The Atlantic. Creativity and emotion is what separates a good writer from a bad writer. N. 19 Sept. "What the Best Writing Teachers Know.d. 2015. 10 Nov. abandoning the intro. 15 Oct. Web. . "Creativity Is Not the Enemy of Good Writing.. "English Language Arts Standards. Stephanie. Haley. Peg. I was creative. 2015. Atlantic Media Company. Web. Web." The Atlantic. right? It was the way I was able to present the argument and the way I drew you (the audience) in to it. for the good of students everywhere. 01 Oct. 2012. Web.technique. 2012. Jones. 2015. Fecho.